JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has declared a dispute with Evander Gold Mines, a subsidiary of Pan African Resources, saying the company refused to implement both the voluntary separation package (VSP) and retrenchment agreements.
“During our engagements with the company, the number of affected employees was reduced from 976 to 650. With regards to a VSP agreement, there are 656 employees who have applied for VSP but the employer has only approved 154 and denied the rest. The employer's reasons are not justifiable,” the NUM said in a statement.
The retrenchment of some 30% of the mine’s employees is aimed at reducing the underground operation’s fixed cost base.
Further, the NUM said Evander is refusing to apply avoidance measures as per the retrenchment agreement.
“The NUM agreed with the company it will start with VSP and redeployment to other mines to reduce the number of affected employees. The intention of the employer is to retrench without meaningful engagement,” it stated.
The union has now declared a dispute with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
Pan African, meanwhile, said it is adhering strictly to the collective agreement, which was facilitated by the CCMA.
“Evander has the final decision in terms of accepting or rejecting any employee request for a VSP,” it added.